Author Topic: How mass shooters obtained their firearms  (Read 955 times)

Offline Mr. Bill

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How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« on: September 07, 2019, 06:25:56 PM »
AP has an overview of how 12 recent mass shooters obtained their firearms.  5 did so legally, 3 by theft, 1 by using a private purchase to evade a background check, and 3 due to screwups in the background check system which should have prohibited their purchases.

US mass shooters exploited gaps, errors in background checks

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2019, 08:54:37 PM »
FYI.  The information on Odessa shooter is most likely wrong.  Best information is that it wasnt a private purchase but rather was a purchase from a black market manufacturer.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2019/09/05/authorities-suspect-lubbock-man-built-and-sold-rifle-to-odessa-shooter/
Authorities suspect Lubbock man built and sold rifle to Odessa shooter

Officials have identified a person of interest who they suspect illegally manufactured and sold a gun to a man who used it to fatally shoot seven people and wound more than 20 others in West Texas last weekend.
...
But law enforcement officials suspect the man was also illegally selling guns, using parts bought online to build the firearms and then reselling them, the Journal reported. Manufacturing and selling guns requires a license, though occasional private sales do not.

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2019, 08:26:11 AM »
25% had faulty background checks? That's pathetic even by .gov standards. Granted I don't think the laws stop anyone who is dedicated to hurting people but to just drop the  ball 1/4 of the time...

There is a challenge here because we don't know how many people have been successfully deterred. We might really have a situation where 12 were successful but 50 were stopped. It's impossible to know. But to have 3 of the recent 12 just be systemic errors doesn't speak well of our policies.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2019, 04:45:15 PM »
25% had faulty background checks? That's pathetic even by .gov standards. Granted I don't think the laws stop anyone who is dedicated to hurting people but to just drop the  ball 1/4 of the time...

There is a challenge here because we don't know how many people have been successfully deterred. We might really have a situation where 12 were successful but 50 were stopped. It's impossible to know. But to have 3 of the recent 12 just be systemic errors doesn't speak well of our policies.

And it is assuming they werent "purposeful mistakes".  Remember Brian Terry case where gun stores who tried to stop guns being transfered to prohibited individuals were threatened by the authorities..Probably more people died from F&F than all these shootings combined.  Last I heard it was over 200 and that was just a fraction.

https://www.judicialwatch.org/press-releases/judicial-watch-justice-department-documents-reveal-widespread-use-fast-furious-weapons-major-mexican-drug-cartels-linked-least-69-killings/
JUDICIAL WATCH: JUSTICE DEPARTMENT DOCUMENTS REVEAL WIDESPREAD USE OF FAST AND FURIOUS WEAPONS BY MAJOR MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS – LINKED TO AT LEAST 69 KILLINGS


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2019, 05:29:52 PM »
FYI.  The information on Odessa shooter is most likely wrong.  Best information is that it wasnt a private purchase but rather was a purchase from a black market manufacturer.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2019/09/05/authorities-suspect-lubbock-man-built-and-sold-rifle-to-odessa-shooter/
Authorities suspect Lubbock man built and sold rifle to Odessa shooter

Officials have identified a person of interest who they suspect illegally manufactured and sold a gun to a man who used it to fatally shoot seven people and wound more than 20 others in West Texas last weekend.
...
But law enforcement officials suspect the man was also illegally selling guns, using parts bought online to build the firearms and then reselling them, the Journal reported. Manufacturing and selling guns requires a license, though occasional private sales do not.



How many self-assembled ARs can one sell privately before being labeled a criminal black market manufacturer?

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2019, 06:33:03 PM »
Interesting enough, I haven't seen anything about this on the local news. 

Just saying

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 07:14:36 PM »

How many self-assembled ARs can one sell privately before being labeled a criminal black market manufacturer?

None.  If your intent is to purchase parts and assemble them for sale it is illegal without a manufacturer license.  But it is pretty obvious when someone has done dozens.

Interesting enough, I haven't seen anything about this on the local news. 

Just saying

Is this regarding Odessa shooting firearm or F&F deaths?  If it is Odessa shooting it has been on all the local news channels, for example:

http://www.fox4news.com/news/texas/report-lubbock-man-may-have-illegally-built-sold-gun-to-odessa-shooter
Report: Lubbock man may have illegally built, sold gun to Odessa shooter

Federal investigators may have tracked down where the West Texas shooter got his gun.

It’s been widely reported that the shooter in the Odessa attack tried to buy a gun in January of 2014 but was prohibited from doing so after being flagged due to a mental health issue.

Federal agents think they’re close to pinpointing how Seth Ator was able to eventually get his hands on the AR-style rifle he used in the deadly rampage.

The Wall Street Journal reported law enforcement officials have identified a person of interest who may have illegally made and then sold the weapon to Ator.

The official familiar with the investigation spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, citing a reluctance to publicly discuss the details of the search. The official said federal agents are investigating whether the Lubbock man has been manufacturing firearms but that there have been no arrests.

Spokespeople for the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed the agencies conducted "law enforcement operations" Wednesday in a residential part of Lubbock but declined to elaborate


If it is F&F, they have taken great strides to squash that story.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2019, 08:06:28 PM »
None.  If your intent is to purchase parts and assemble them for sale it is illegal without a manufacturer license.  But it is pretty obvious when someone has done dozens.

Are you talking about any self-assembled AR or just the one's with lowers acquired or produced outside the FFL process?  Surely you can't be prohibited from selling an AR you built from a legal lower, can you?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2019, 08:25:14 PM »
Are you talking about any self-assembled AR or just the one's with lowers acquired or produced outside the FFL process?  Surely you can't be prohibited from selling an AR you built from a legal lower, can you?

Even if one uses a serialized receiver, if one puts it together with intent to sell then is illegal manufacture, illegal dealing, and/or straw sale depending on details. Most recommend waiting at least six months before selling and only selling to someone with a CCW so you know for sure they were a non-prohibited individual. 

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 12:23:13 AM »
Does that preclude FFLs from processing transfers of home assembled ARs between a private buyer and seller?

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2019, 07:48:10 AM »
Does that preclude FFLs from processing transfers of home assembled ARs between a private buyer and seller?

I realize this isn't really a concern in California but even in gun friendly states that could be a mess. The last thing you want to do is be considered an illicit firearm manufacturer. I can't even imagine building a dozen ARs and crossing state lines. It's a real gut punch to even consider.

I've helped build a few because I have the shop and it's just easier with my vices and tools but I've never known a person to build and then sell a rifle. I'm sure there are bad people who do it but my experience is that guys who build a rifle ground-up are putting on the furniture they really want so it's more an heirloom than something to make a buck on.

I guess my gut just tells me that guys who build rifles do it to get the rifle they want; not as a cash flow thing. It strikes me as a no-no. I have no problem helping family and friends build their guns but I'd draw a hard line if the intent was to sell.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2019, 08:43:55 AM »
Does that preclude FFLs from processing transfers of home assembled ARs between a private buyer and seller?

No, it doesn't preclude them from processing the transfer.  But that also doesnt eliminate the manufacturing issue. If a person starts assembling ARs for sale they would still be breaking the law even if they go through a licensed dealer for transfers.  Even licensed gunsmiths are not allowed to do this.  You must be a licensed manufacturer.

This ruling came about becase "manufacturing" was not defined by congress in creation of the law.  So the courts use the ordinary meaning of “manufacturing”; that is, actions to “make a product suitable for use.”  It is not restricted to just the manufacture of the receiver as some think.  See, e.g., Broughman v. Carver, 624 F.3d 670, 675 (4th Cir. 2010).

What the ATF has to decide is whether the activity is for personal use or as "engaged in business".   If the person “devotes time, attention, and labor to manufacturing firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the sale or distribution of the firearms manufactured" they are a manufacturer who is required to be licensed. So if a person tries to make money by assembling firearms without a license they are in for a lot of legal woes.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2019, 09:09:34 AM »
I realize this isn't really a concern in California but even in gun friendly states that could be a mess. The last thing you want to do is be considered an illicit firearm manufacturer. I can't even imagine building a dozen ARs and crossing state lines. It's a real gut punch to even consider.

That's the thing, even here in California AR lowers are stocked for sale in all the gun shops, even 80% lowers are legal.  But knowing the capricious nature of gun legislation here, I steer clear of the whole AR thing beyond the one neutered AR I got a couple years ago.  I also don't sell guns after I've purchased them, either, but I know that many owners' collections are quite fluid so tens of thousands of these "roll-your-own" ARs must be changing hands all the time.  Sounds like even in the free states that could wind up being a world of hurt.

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2019, 09:30:11 AM »
Also bear in mind the guys who sporterize WWII surplus guns don't sell them either. If you want the work done and can find a gunsmith to do it it's a one-off project. And you better already legally own the rifle.

And forget the AR world altogether. I built a purpose built Remington 870 home defense shotgun where I aftermarketed darn near the whole gun. But if some stranger asked me to build one for him... That's not good territory.

Basically (if I understand the law) you can make/build/modify your own gun provided it's not full auto or some other tax stamp stuff but you're really on thin ice if you modify a gun to sell it. Without an ATF license it's a big risk. I have no problem building guns for myself and those close to me but to turn around and sell it mkes me a little itchy. Beyond the liability if it blows up you're gambling the local DA understands that sporterizing a surplus gun or rechambering a rifle is not an act that makes it a super-evil-cop-killing-destructive-device. I wouldn't make that wager in MN let alone CA.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2019, 09:37:28 AM »
Sounds like even in the free states that could wind up being a world of hurt.

Even if you are a cop, it is not a good choice; especially not to your motorcycle buddies.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/police-officer-charged-with-illegally-making-selling-guns
Police officer charged with illegally making, selling guns

A police officer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has been arrested on charges of manufacturing guns at his upstate home and selling them to motorcycle gang members.
...
Police say Marinelli assembled dozens of handguns and assault rifles and sold them to "individuals who are legally barred from possessing such weapons" including members of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Many of the guns Marinelli sold had no serial numbers and would be difficult to trace, authorities said.


Basically (if I understand the law) you can make/build/modify your own gun provided it's not full auto or some other tax stamp stuff but you're really on thin ice if you modify a gun to sell it. Without an ATF license it's a big risk.

If you purchase a complete firearm, make some minor mods, and sell it at a later date then there is essentially zero risk.  If you purchase it with intent to quickly flip it after some mods, then that is an issue.  Assemblying rifles from parts and then selling them is going to definitely bring scrutiny. 

From the reports it is implied the guy who sold to Odessa shooter assembled multiple and they are trying to track down where they went.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2019, 09:42:44 AM by iam4liberty »

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #15 on: September 09, 2019, 10:02:01 AM »
If you purchase a complete firearm, make some mods, and sell it at a later date then there is essentially zero risk.  If you purchase it with intent to quickly flip it after some mods, then that is an issue.  Assemblying rifles from parts and then selling them is going to definitely bring scrutiny.

I still wouldn't do it. I hate to admit it but there's not a gun I own thaat I haven't fiddled with or upgraded parts. My competition AR is in 3 different colors because the OD green parts were cheaper than black and I got some flat dark earth from my military buddies. It's a hodgepodge of a shitshow with almost no original furniture and upgraded damn near everything. I don't know how else to say it but my rifle has components that served in Afghanistan. Nothing illegal or untoward about it but it is not the rifle I purchased and if you look at the S&W catalog it ain't there. I tinkertoyed that thing to run fast for me. There is no question in my mind that it runs safe and fast and I'd let any of you shoot it but selling it does bring up issues because it is almost zero original parts. It's no longer an off the shelf AR. It's David in MN's custom built speed rifle. Selling that would make me uncomfortable.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2019, 10:39:38 AM »
So do you guys agree that there must be thousands of frankenARs transferred via “gunshow loophole” private sales, by otherwise well-meaning sellers who don’t have a clue what kind of jeopardy they’re putting themselves in?

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2019, 11:55:06 AM »
So do you guys agree that there must be thousands of frankenARs transferred via “gunshow loophole” private sales, by otherwise well-meaning sellers who don’t have a clue what kind of jeopardy they’re putting themselves in?

Well, there is no such thing as the "gunshow loophole".  And the vast majority of private sellers at a show will not sell without veriifying the buyer is from that state and most would also see that they have CCW license to ensure they have passed background check.  And any frankenguns sold were probably not assembled purposely to flip but just that the person found something better.  So no issues.  And we see that in the stats.  Mass shooters are far more likely to be a prohibited person and buy from license dealer (with FBI screw up) or steal the firearm than try to get one from a gunshow.  Gunshows are teaming with local police and ATF so that is among last place they would go.

But yes, I am sure there are tens of thousands of legal transfers each year between individuals at gun shows where modifications were made to the firearm.

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2019, 02:12:42 PM »
So do you guys agree that there must be thousands of frankenARs transferred via “gunshow loophole” private sales, by otherwise well-meaning sellers who don’t have a clue what kind of jeopardy they’re putting themselves in?

What I fear is that the crime happens between my ears. Anyone with a modicum of mechanical skills can piece together a rifle or rework an existing gun. But the crime is to build it with the intent of sales. Rinse and repeat by traversing states and it's just a huge mess. Did I make the gun more deadly by upgrading a BCM charging handle or a trigger guard expansion that allows winter gloves? It's up to the DA to determine my mental state when I made these choices.

A rational sane person would see a gun optimized for competition with a lot of customization. But I'm not relying on the DA in my blue state to be a rational sane person. I will instead rely on him to tell the jury that I am so demented I needed the deadliest rifle ever to be even deadlier. That does scare me.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2019, 09:32:38 PM »
Is the greater sin, here, that the seller produced an unlicensed weapon for sale that functioned safely as intended?  Or the fact that he transferred it, wittingly or not, to an adjudicated mental defective? 

Online David in MN

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Re: How mass shooters obtained their firearms
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2019, 06:23:02 AM »
Is the greater sin, here, that the seller produced an unlicensed weapon for sale that functioned safely as intended?  Or the fact that he transferred it, wittingly or not, to an adjudicated mental defective?

No, you are discussing violating 2 federal laws and I would never advocate selling or buying a gun with no serial number or giving a gun to mentally disabled people. These are federal crimes and carry a heavy prison stint. DO NOT DO THIS. When I say I get nervous selling a heavily customized gun it definitely has a serial number and was legally bought from an FFL dealer. My heavily rebuilt AR was legally purchased from Cabela's.

While I do fear a vengeful DA looking to pin me for "manufacturing a firearm" because I rebuilt a rifle with new features it's a far cry from selling a non-serialized gun to people who couldn't pass a background check. That is a super no-no. With a lot of prison time attached. VERY BAD IDEA.